Weekend At Behe’s

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The Discovery Institute has put out a press release that is flabbergasting even by their standards.

In it, they breathlessly announce that

“Judge John Jones copied verbatim or virtually verbatim 90.9% of his 6,004-word section on whether intelligent design is science from the ACLU’s proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law’ submitted to him nearly a month before his ruling,” said Dr. John West, Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture.”

Now, Vice President for Legal Affairs John West is not a lawyer, so he may not be familiar with the fact that this is exactly what proposed findings of fact are for. They are proposed findings which a judge, if he or she agrees, then incorporates as his or her own findings. Both the school district and the plaintiffs filed proposed findings, and the judge went with the findings he found most convincing. Incidentally, the school district doesn’t seem to have ever objected to the plaintiffs’ filing their proposed findings.

The press release suggests that Judge Jones did something improper in adopting the plaintiffs’ proposed findings as his own—but that is just what a judge does when he finds that the party has proven its case. In re Las Colinas, Inc., 426 F.2d 1005, 1008. (1st Cir. 1970) (“The practice of inviting counsel to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law is well established as a valuable aid to decision making.”) As the Supreme Court put it in a slightly different context,

There was a trial, and after oral argument the judge announced from the bench that judgment would be for appellees and that he would not write an opinion. He told counsel for appellees, ‘Prepare the findings and conclusions and judgment.’ They obeyed, submitting 130 findings of fact and one conclusion of law, all of which, we are advised, the District Court adopted verbatim. Those findings, though not the product of the workings of the district judge’s mind, are formally his; they are not to be rejected out-of-hand, and they will stand if supported by evidence.

United States v. El Paso Natural Gas Co., 376 U.S. 651, 656 (1964). Accord, Ramey Const. Co., Inc. v. Apache Tribe of Mescalero Reservation, 616 F.2d 464, 466 (9th Cir. 1980) (“Verbatim adoption of a party’s proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law may be acceptable under some circumstances.”); Norris Industries, Inc. v. Tappan Co., 599 F.2d 908, 909-10 (9th Cir. 1979). The only time a judge is not allowed to do this is when he or she fails to reveal the discerning line for his or her decision, which makes it difficult for an appellate court to determine the judge’s reasoning. Ramsey, 616 F.2d at 466. That was hardly the case in Kitzmiller.

The Discovery Institute is essentially complaining “Hey, the ID proponents failed to convince the judge of anything they were saying!” Sorry, but that ain’t a story.

Folks at The Thumb predicted this was coming after Michael Behe’s talk in Kansas not long ago, in which he spent his time claiming that Judge Jones was simply acting as a parrot for the ACLU. Now, remember, Judge Jones is a Republican Bush appointee, not exactly your biggest war-on-Christmas ACLU guy. What’s more, the DI’s claim that Jones’ opinion is “copied verbatim or virtually verbatim” is curious also. What does “virtually verbatim” mean? Either something is verbatim or it isn’t, and if it is only “virtually” verbatim, how do they count it in their 90.9% figure? If anything, the fact that these sections are not verbatim proves that Jones carefully went over each item of the proposed findings and deliberately chose to adopt those findings as his own—which he is supposed to do, when he finds that the plaintiffs have proven their case.

What’s hilarious about this complete non-story is what an obvious attempt this is at keeping alive a subject that has already been done to death. Like the wacky Larry and Richard, toting around the corpse of their boss, the Discovery Institute is trying hard to pretend that there is some life left in their portrayal of ID as a science unfairly persecuted by political schemers. They keep propping up the Dover case as proof of their status as censored visionaries. The press release claims that “A year after Dover, it’s the Darwinists who seem filled with gloom, not us,” but we still haven’t stopped partying over demolishing them in Kitzmiller. (You should see all the empty champagne bottles. Matzke’s gonna have a hell of a headache.) Meanwhile, ID creationism has been increasingly marginalized, and its defenders have grown increasingly desperate. Desperate enough to accuse Judge Jones of impropriety for following an obviously well-established legal procedure. Desperate enough to still be groaning over the licking they took a year ago. Desperate enough to portray a Republican Bush appointee as an “activist” pawn of ACLU lefties. Desperate enough to spend time figuring out percentages of similar-sounding words, rather than doing any, you know, research in biological science. Truly laughable.

This just in: actual video footage of West and Behe cleaning up Intelligent Design for its next court appearance:

6 TrackBacks

I am amused that now the Disco Institute is reduced to complaining that Judge Jones adopted the ACLU's findings of fact in the Dover trial. It's true that Jones didn't write a big chunk of his decision, because he literally... Read More

The Discovery Institute's trademarked brand of science-by-press-release continues. In this press release, John West (a political scientist) claims that "[t]he key section of the widely-noted court decision on intelligent design issued a year ago on Dec... Read More

In the Discovery Institute's ongoing war on logic and truth, they claim that: Someone should ask Judge Jones why he is suddenly so reticent to talk about his ruling. During the past year, he has traversed the country to speak at public events and talk ... Read More

Judge Jones: Lazy or Not so Lazy? from Law Evolution Science and Junk Science on December 12, 2006 11:51 PM

Well, neither. I will gently rib the state and federal bench by dividing judges into two categories: Lazy judges and not so lazy judges. Why is this difference important? After trial there is as “winner” and a “loser,” as Intelligent Read More

The Discovery Institute’s latest in a long line of feeble attempts to discredit Judge Jones’s Kitzmiller decision: they’re complaining that he accepted verbatim the opposition’s proposed finding of facts for the decision. That... Read More

ID = Intense Desperation? from Threads from Henry's Web on December 14, 2006 8:56 AM

Or perhaps it had set in a long time ago. I hadn’t really meant to comment on the current uproar about the Discovery Institute’s apparent “discovery” that part of Judge Jones’s ruling in the Dover case came “almost ... Read More

114 Comments

Incredible. Just incredible. But then, as you say Tim, this is all they have left. The DI and other proponents of ID have no experimental evidence, no peer-reviewed articles, no nothing.

They’ve painted themselves into a corner and keep trying various convoluted positions to get out. When anyone else points out they still have paint on their shoes, they claim persecution…

Timothy Sandefur Wrote:

What does “virtually verbatim” mean?

I wouldn’t jump on this semantic point. It makes perfect sense to me. And while quantifying it seems utterly silly, such spurious statisticabafflegab seems to have become an entrenched technique of everyone, both the intelligent and the idiotic.

Timothy Sandefur said,

The press release suggests that Judge Jones did something improper in adopting the plaintiffs’ proposed findings as his own—but that is just what a judge does when he finds that the party has proven its case.

Judge Jones not only adopted the plaintiffs’ proposed findings as his own, but – according to the Discovery Institute – copied those findings verbatim or nearly verbatim. The courts allow but discourage this kind of “plagiarized” or “ghostwritten” opinion. That same Supreme Court opinion that you cited, United States v. El Paso Gas Co., says,

A trial judge’s findings will stand if supported by evidence even where they are not his own work product, United States v. Crescent Amusement Co., 323 U.S. 173 , but such findings are less helpful on judicial review than those prepared by the trial judge himself.(emphasis added)

– and –

[ Footnote 4 ] Judge J. Skelly Wright of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently said: “Who shall prepare the findings? Rule 52 says the court shall prepare the findings. “The court shall find the facts specially and [376 U.S. 651, 657] state separately its conclusions of law.’ We all know what has happened. Many courts simply decide the case in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant, have him prepare the findings of fact and conclusions of law and sign them. This has been denounced by every court of appeals save one. This is an abandonment of the duty and the trust that has been placed in the judge by these rules. It is a non-compliance with Rule 52 specifically and it betrays the primary purpose of Rule 52 – the primary purpose being that the preparation of these findings by the judge shall assist in the adjudication of the lawsuit. “I suggest to you strongly that you avoid as far as you possibly can simply signing what some lawyer puts under your nose. These lawyers, and properly so, in their zeal and advocacy and their enthusiasm are going to state the case for their side in these findings as strongly as they possibly can. When these findings get to the courts of appeals they won’t be worth the paper they are written on as far as assisting the court of appeals in determining why the judge decided the case.” Seminars for Newly Appointed United States District Judges (1963), p. 166. (emphasis added)

– from http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scrip[…]e=651#656%22 One thing we now know – Judge Jones was falsely given credit for a lot of stuff he did not write.

Are they now blaming darwinists for everything?

In September, legal scholar Francis Beckwith, whose support for the constitutionality of intelligent design is well-known, was granted tenure at Baylor University after an effort by Darwinists to deny him tenure backfired.

I thought Beckwith’s tenure decision was influenced more by his conservative views on abortion

But to certain factions of the Baylor community his publishing accolades were unimportant. In the contemporary university one must not only be sharp to gain tenure, one must also hold certain political views. To some people at Baylor, Beckwith’s conservative views on abortion and other issues automatically disqualified him from the academic game regardless of how well he could perform.

Is this yet another example of ‘just so stories’ of ID?

Ed Brayton commented

He is caught up in an ongoing political and religious battle over the direction of Baylor University, and he represents the more orthodox religious side of things.

I thought that Beckwith’s tenure decisions had little to do with his position on ID

Umm, IS, you ignored this sentence: “We all know what has happened. Many courts simply decide the case in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant, have him prepare the findings of fact and conclusions of law and sign them.” The DI has not accused him of copying his conclusions of law. So your citation fails to support them. Furthermore, the DI’s calculation of ~90% is based on pretty liberal criteria. The same criteria that if applied to genomes would find that humans, chimps, gorillas, and orangutans are 100% “virtually verbatim”.

Apparently the reason ID lost at Dover was by design? Hmmm, their god is looking pretty malicious right now.

The Discovery Institute is not about discovering anything. They are merely a propaganda dispensing machine. Their writings are not meant for the science community, nor the legal community. Their writings are aimed at the gullible and ignorant.

To DI, it doesn’t matter that what they produce is drivel. What matters to them is that their gullible and ignorant target audience believes them.

Remember, the Discovery Institute’s target audience thinks that the “Flintstones” is a documentary . … .

Check out Dembski’s treatment of Judge Jones at UD, he likens Judge Jones to “a narcissistic putz.” I can’t tell you how discouraging I find Dembski. Frankly, it is hard not to resort to name calling myself. Dembski has shown himself, time and again, to be fearful of open conversation about his ideas, furthermore, he continually tries to protect UD from the obvious truth. Once again, rather than sucking it up, like a man, handling the harsh reality of ID as a failure he resorts to name calling and character assasination. How childish!!!!!

The York Dispatch has an item regarding this story (I’m sure they’ve been on the DI mailing list for a couple years now). The item ends by noting The ruling shocked some people because Jones is a Republican and a Lutheran who was appointed to the bench by George W. Bush, who has spoken in favor of intelligent design.

How can something so simple be so complicated for people to understand. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. This seems pretty straight forward to me, in case you don’t understand I’ll simplify it for you. The government will not endorse any religion, however you are free to practice any religion you want. Sounds fair? This is the constitution we are talking about, that is the supreme law of the land. Don’t like it? Too bad, it’s been around longer than you. This simple amendment is why a conservative Bush appointee would make such a decision. Ohhh, but ID isn’t religion blah blah blah. WRONG! It’s very simple, science deals with natural phenomena only. There is no other possible explanation than a natural one, it’s the rules of scientific inquiry. Every piece of advanced technology and medicine is with us today because of the scientific process. ID’ers just want to throw it all out the window, and start explaining things they don’t understand with god.… or I mean Intelligent design.

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Reed, IS seems a lot like Larry Farfarman. The formatting of the post, the focus on legal issues about which he knows nothing, the willful bypassing of simple sentences that refute his claims…

“Whatever”, your post above betrays either a willing dishonesty or marked misunderstanding of what is at issue in this aspect of the ID in the public schools fiasco.

Sighting the establishment clause and acting like it is so straightforwardly interpreted in the manner you imply is reckless and simply unfound.

The DI’s attack on Judge Jones is centered on his writing concerning whether ID is science or religion. The point of contention between ID and Anti-ID people on this issue is not whether a particular religious belief should be supported in schools, but wehther ID is a particular religious belief. That is, ID theorists really do think that they have removed any religious auxillary asumptions from their theory and that all it requires beyond your “science” is simply the admittance of intelligent agent causation as a detectable cause in the construction or programmiing of biological life forms.

ID theorists, like Behe, Dembski, and Meyer differ from PTA members and local parents on this. But this is due mainly to the sophistacted level of knowledge which differs among the two groups. The parents or school board in Dover appear to have had a religious agenda and chose to employ ID as a weapon. Their views and understanding of what ID is should not color the hypothesis as a whole.

When you say, “There is no other possible explanation than a natural one, it’s the rules of scientific inquiry.” As if you don’t even know that this is what this debate is centered on, am I and other readers here to interpret you as uninformed or disingenuous. (of course if other readers are like you and don’t care whether an assertion is actually founded but only with the strength of its rhetorical value in this debate, they won’t comment against your post or agree with me here, but sit by and let it have its effect.)

Lastly, the statement, “Every piece of advanced technology and medicine is with us today because of the scientific process. ID’ers just want to throw it all out the window, and start explaining things they don’t understand with god.… or I mean Intelligent design.” Is wrong on may levels. Much in the history of Science and technology is neutral towards this discussion and much of it actually flies in the face of your assertion. If you would like to discuss the meta-narratives employed by scientists, doctors, and designers of technology elsewhere I would love to go to town with you on your rhetorical blunder.

This section however is on the Judge Jones ruling. Which we now see was pretty much written by the ACLU and should not be interpreted as the work of someone who really sat and weighed the evidence presented before him. I’m sorry, but to us in the middle, Jones looks like a puppet.

MS

Hop on over to good old Uncommon Descent to see this headline that truly shows the intellectual strength of the ID movement:

Judge Jones: Towering Intellectual or Narcissistic Putz? by good Dembski.

In all seriousness, THIS is all ID has left. Attacking an individual judge for decisions made a year ago in a case they handled terribly, and bashing the judge for following procedure. They lost, got drubbed, got humiliated. They can’t let it go.

At times, I think rampant insecurity is a major trait of ID.

Mark Studduck writes:

ID theorists really do think that they have removed any religious auxillary asumptions from their theory and that all it requires beyond your “science” is simply the admittance of intelligent agent causation as a detectable cause in the construction or programmiing of biological life forms.”

Umm, if that is the case, why do they persist in holding ID symposia in religious venues? If they are trying to convince scientists, they should go where the scientists hold meetings. And that would not include the Religious Studies department at Utah Valley State College.

If Judge Jones pasted text from other sources, it’s probably because he decided that their statements were relevant to the formation of his decision. What’s he suposed to do – base his decision on statements of people who were not parties to the case? Make up his own wording of what other people said, and base his decision on his interpretation?

A judge, being a judge and all, is SUPPOSED to base his decision on facts, testimony, evidence, and reasoning put forth in the trial. Pasting the statements he considered relevant, and/or the reasoning that won the day, isn’t something a creative artist would do, but – news flash! – Jones was functioning as a judge, not an artist.

PS: I’m inclined to agree with Laser – both IS and Mark Studduck sould like Larry Fafarman. Same incoherent hand-waving, same total irrelevance to the central issues.

Larry Moran: I read your post. I also read the comments so far, which you have yet to answer.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer article (at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local[…]_Debate.html) has an ironic quote from the DI’s John G. West:

“‘It’s a masterpiece of cut-and-paste,’ West said,” referring to the Jones ruling.

Could it be that they’re jealous because their incompetent cutting and pasting contributed to their defeat in the courtroom?

The Seattle Post Intelligencer article (at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420AP_PA_Ev…) has an ironic quote from the DI’s John G. West:

“‘It’s a masterpiece of cut-and-paste,’ West said,” referring to the Jones ruling.

Could it be that they’re jealous because their incompetent cutting and pasting contributed to their defeat in the courtroom?

Wait, the AP picked this up? Okay, that’s just disgraceful. Is there anything that can be done to correct this disinformation in the press?

I find it very interesting that UD is showing an awful lot of religious material these days on its blogs. It really does not help their argument about the non-religious nature of ID.

They just keep on posting crap hoping on hope that something will eventually stick. The Discovery Institute is really desperate.

Anyone else noticed how long it’s taken ID to come up with this response? I guess ID has been reduced (possibly elevated…) to the guy who attempts snappy comebacks, but is always just a little too late, and with too little wit.

Secondly, if Judge Jones really did do something wrong, why not file an appeal. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure what they are implying the judge did is a reason to have the verdict overturned. Unless of course, ID’s attempts a law are like their attempts at science – quick to claim, but equally quick to avoid situations where their claims can be examined in detail by people knowledgable of the subject at hand.

bob: if they try to make an issue of “excessive cutting and pasting” or the like, they’ll end up drawing more attention to their own – far less competent – cutting and pasting of old creationist arguments into brand-new “ID” textbooks. Best not to go there, or they’ll have to explain that famous phrase “cdesign proponentsists” yet again…

Yeah, it’s our boy Larry alright. See http://www.uncommondescent.com/arch[…]omment-80747 to the extended play remix of the same tune.

Coin wrote:

Wait, the AP picked this up? Okay, that’s just disgraceful. Is there anything that can be done to correct this disinformation in the press?

Correct the press??! Hehe, that’s a good one. That story was truly pathetic. Someone should ask the DI why it took them a whole year to figure this out.

Correct the press??! Hehe, that’s a good one.

Well, I was thinking of maybe doing something like writing an indignant letter to the editor of some newspaper that ran the AP story, which if I get really lucky might get published in a little box in the corner of the opinions page where no one would see it.

Law is not so much a creative act as it is a recycling or restating of convincing compatible arguments. So much is based on precedent, which if not recycling what else is it!

I am wondering if West is insinuating that Judge Jones is a plagarist and therefore, dishonest. The problem with much scientific writing, particularly in doing a literature review, for example, is trying to paraphrase when there aren’t too many ways to state the material. I guess West would have been upset if Judge Jones had opted in favor of parsimony and summarized those 20 or so pages as “ID is BS”.

Many courts simply decide the case in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant, have him prepare the findings of fact and conclusions of law and sign them. This has been denounced by every court of appeals save one.

This is not the situation in Kitzmiller v. Dover. Judge Jones did not declare on the last day of the bench trial, “OK, I’m ruling for the plaintiffs. Prepare some findings and I will sign them. Defense, don’t bother.” This is the practice that is frowned upon, although I gather that cases have been upheld even in this situation.

Instead, Jones followed the regular procedure – both sides submitted Proposed Findings, then both sides submitted rebuttals, and then he went through, adopted points he liked, excluded points he didn’t like, added numerous pieces from his own observations (e.g.: “breathtaking inanity”) and synthesized it into a coherent document (rather than just a list of individual points, which is what the parties submit). This constitutes the ruling. This is far different than just signing one side’s brief.

The question that the cranks have not answered is: What do you think Proposed Findings are for? Why do you think the parties right them in the voice of the court? (e.g., “The Court finds X, the Court finds Y.”) A judge’s job is to judge, not to re-do all of the research from scratch himself, for each of the 100+ cases he will have on his docket at any given time.

I’m no lawyer but it’s clear the DI knows even less than I about rulings from the bench. The case was assigned to Jones randomly. He than sat and heard the evidence, the finding of fact and the conclusions of law, that the opposing attorneys presented. The judge has no staff to go out and research the facts; he depends on the two sides to present their case for those and the most credible presentation wins. That he should cite and quote from the facts he believed to be true should not be surprising. From my reading of the case he did a masterful job of knitting together the facts as he saw them in the briefs and oral arguments offered and reached his own conclusions of law based on his knowledge of the law. If the DI lost, it’s because their facts just didn’t pass muster, even with a church-going Republican Lutheran who was appointed by George Bush. It seems to me that when they seek to find fault with the decision, they should look in the mirror. They simply lacked the facts to support their claim.

Comment #149960 posted by W. Kevin Vicklund said –

… the Local Rules for PAMD normally require parties to submit their Porposed Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law before the trial. However, the parties stipulated that they would submit after trial with a round of rebuttal, and Jones agreed.

So these “proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law“ briefs are not even mentioned in the national Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which governs the federal district courts, but are only mentioned in the local rules of these courts, and the local rules are of course not uniform. The local rules of some federal district courts might not mention these briefs at all. Also, I know that these briefs are not required by the court rules of the US Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit federal appeals court, and might not be required by the other federal appeals courts. Then there are also state courts and local courts, which have their own rules. So how could this procedure of cutting and pasting from such briefs be a standard practice? Of course, it seems that litigants should have some way of presenting written rather than just oral summaries at the conclusion of the presentation of the testimony and evidence, so maybe these final “proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law“ briefs are common even though they are often not required by court rules. However, it seems to me that it is only reasonable to expect that judges who quote these briefs verbatim or nearly verbatim identify the sources, just as with any other kind of source. Anyway, I think that the “fundies“ have already won a big PR victory here. The revelation of Jones‘ plagiarism will forever change the way that many people will view the Dover opinion.

Well, that didn’t last long – I posted Behe’s admission that there was no actual scientific work supporting ID, and Dumbski hisself banned me and deleted that post. Now we see the violence inherent in the system. HELP, I’M BEING REPRESSED! SEE THE VIOLENCE INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM!! Did you see that? I was repressed…and I’ve got a previous snapshot to prove it…

Oh well, on the brighter side, the End Times must not be coming after all…

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I think that the “fundies” have already won a big PR victory here.

Of course, the only people who still feel the need to blather on about Jones’ decision on a daily basis are said fundies, who will never be convinced of anything that runs contrary to their preconceived ideas. And you, Larry.

The revelation of Jones’ plagiarism will forever change the way that many people will view the Dover opinion.

Of course, nobody cares how “many people” might choose to view the Dover result. It’s not a PR release and this isn’t a popularity contest. It’s a legal decision where ID lost. It’s over–get used to it.

If Dover was such a bad legal decision, why aren’t any of the IDiots involved trying to put through the same policy in another jurisdiction, where they would presumably get a better result? Indeed, why were most of them actually running from the case even before it was even decided? Because–all informed and disingenuous bitching about ‘activist’ Jones and his unfair decision aside–everyone including the IDiots knows it would turn out the same way anywhere else.

L. Breckinridge

Anyway, I think that the “fundies” have already won a big PR victory here.

Just like the cigarette companies had big PR ‘victories’ after they lost their many attempts to scam the judicial system, more victories like that and.….

The revelation of Jones’ plagiarism will forever change the way that many people will view the Dover opinion.

Well he could have quoted all the other ‘victories’ the ‘fundies’ had in their previous cases…oops.…THAT must make him look real bad (snicker), it would seem L. Breckinridge would have liked a new precedent set… that a particular brand of nonsense religious pseudo science unique to a well known cult/sect masquerading as science be included in Biology classes instead of religious studies classes…which as we all know he said was OK.…

When are you going to bring up privilege on Buckingham’s emails? …thats always good for a giggle.

The real disgrace in this dog and pony show is that the American mainstream media still treats the Discovery Institute as though it is a legitimate voice of “opposition”, so to speak, in this trumped up debate. They never point out the religious motivations of the DI, or the non-existent science, they’re just happy to call it a “think tank”, and quote their spokesmen as if their announcements meant something. This current “revelation” on the Dover case is just the latest in a long line of pandering by the press on this subject. It’s disgraceful.

I made a bunch of statements on UD yesterday, but the UD regulars didn’t try to respond to them until after their Dear Leader announced that I’m banned. To plagirize – oops, I mean quote – a PFOF from Stevie Nicks: “We know you won’t fall/’Cause the whole thing’s phony.”

It’s a lovely sight to see these self professed Christians so intent on destroying the reputation of a good judge, and Christian. Remind me again, who did the Swiftboating PR and who is the DI’s PR group?

Aha, Wesley to the rescue

Recently, we noted that the Discovery Institute was bemoaning their lack of funds to support their anti-evolution activities. That claim was factually wrong. In fact, it turns out that over the past year they had enough money to hire a very high-profile public relations firm, Creative Response Concepts (CRC), to spread their message. This is the same firm that represents AT&T, the canonical American mega-corporation, among a long list of clients.

Other notable CRC clients include the “Contract for America”, Parents Television Council, Regnery Publishing (the firm that published Phillip Johnson’s book, Darwin On Trial), and the high-profile client of the 2004 USA presidential campaign, “Swift Boat Vets for Truth”.

CRC has earned its pay from the DI CRSC this year. CRC arranged the showing of the film, The Privileged Planet, at the Smithsonian Institution, and provided the New York Times with an op-ed piece by Cardinal Schoenborn, an event that now seems more and more to be a Discovery Institute publicity stunt.

Breckinridge is trying to do a snow-job but his argument is going downhill fast. Perhaps he didn’t get his lift ticket from the Disco. Inst. who published the following on their website:

(note: the last article inacurrately states that we are faulting Judge Jones for “plagiarism,” which we aren’t; he copied extensively from the ACLU, but in judicial circles that would not be called plagiarism).

Obviously Breckers is not ready for the Double-Diamond expert trails and should stick to the Bunny slope. Here, Brecks, take this nice balloon filled with hot air from Behe’s “arguments” and go away, Sonny, you’re bothering the big people around here.

Andrea you should know by now that no IDer will ever publish a paper about how the design occurred,

And why not? It’s because it didn’t occur. You show that it occurred by showing how it did, at least according to some broad engineering or “design” principles.

nor do they even want to,

Of course they don’t want to, because they’d look even more stupid than “Guts” does now if they tried.

because it has nothing to do with whether a particular system shows the hallmarks of design.

It has much to do with it showing the hallmarks of design, unless you’re really so retarded to think that Dembski’s calculations capture the hallmarks of design. But of course design has never been detected that way, nor can it be, since eliminating known “natural causes” (even if it were honestly achieved) doesn’t do anything to indicate design. One reason for that, actually, is that knowable design is due to natural causes, and would require some sort of broad recognition of the design processes (rationality, novelty, and “borrowing” without restriction would count as sound hallmarks of design) even to demonstrate that it had occurred.

And now a clue for the clueless: Dembski likes to use SETI and fictive SETI findings to “analogize” to his “attempts” to “find design”. I’m even willing to concede that his probability issues (which he mislabels (and we know why) as “complexity” even when it is a matter of simplicity) could point in the direction of SETI. But no one would accept merely an unlikely signal as evidence for intelligence or for “design”, rather we’d demand certain patterns and the incorporation of universal knowledge (not mere patterning via that knowledge, as evolution is capable of) into “designs” as real evidence for intelligent aliens.

For instance, a rationally-designed machine not made by humans would be evidence for alien intelligence. Guess what, though? We doubt that we’d mistake the aliens themselves as evidence for intelligent design (unless, of course, they had genetically re-engineered themselves). This is where Dembski’s analogy becomes colossally stupid, because we’d never mistake evolved life as being designed, or at least we have no reason to think that we would. Why? Because life shows none of the hallmarks of design, with no consistently “rational design” (some aspects might pass as rationally designed (until we looked at the genome, that is), most would not), a marked lack of novelty vis-a-vis related organisms, and without the kind of inspired borrowings that real intelligences engage in.

If Dembski can ever show that we’d mistake the alien or its code (provided they haven’t been re-engineered) as having been designed, then he might have a story. The whole point of SETI is to find what intelligent beings have made and to discern intelligent causation from that, and thus to be able to infer the evolved (at least originally evolved) beings behind these designs. If we made the same blunders as IDists, we’d suppose that we would be incapable of ever discovering life on other planets, since we’d not know the difference between “designer” and “designed”, or between “man and machine”, and SETI would in fact be impossible.

The fact is that ID has only done one original thing (even if it isn’t entirely new, some of the ways of making the claim are relatively new), which is to insist that life and design are indistinguishable. Now that takes some chutzpah, all right, since we do distinguish the two on a regular basis, and rarely have any problem with that task. But these ultimate materialists insist that machine and life are indistinguishable, and that all of the science that differentiates life and its processes from our own is wrong.

What IDists mean when they say “we can detect design” is that we can’t distinguish design from life nor from cosmological constants. It is imperative that they do this, otherwise they couldn’t take the necessary characteristics of life in our universe (complexity genetically specified) and claim them for “design”. Then to avoid the usual scientific imperative that any design be recognizable and distinguishable from, say, life, they deny that design even needs to be explained in any way.

Thus they wish to set science back to a level below the pre-scientific era, when people knew instinctively that intelligently-made designs were different from life (I know of no myth in which life was simply designed, though forms into which life was poured or breathed might be externally designed). That ability is too great for humans to use properly, and it must be wrenched from our wretched hands. Life and machine are no longer to be distinguished, for we are all Frankenstein’s children.

Let us bow down to the post-modern Prometheuses who have made us into machines.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Considering that Behe, not the ACLU, admitted on the stand there was no peer-reviewed research on ID and this is an obvious fact in the transcript (that you evidentally missed?) it’s fairly clear who is making errors as to what was/was not actually said here.

There are no papers with the qualification the lawyer gave it. But thats not what the ACLU wrote , they wrote “In addition to failing to produce papers in peer-reviewed journals”, Meyer didn’t fail, he succeeded, don’t you think? The sad thing is that this was submitted to the Judge, but like I said, the Judge didn’t seem to think for himself.

This is about the only thing I’d agree with “Guts” on. There have been ID papers in “peer-reviewed journals” (if not especially impressive ones) which is what was denied by the ACLU and apparently Jones in at least one instance. That they don’t support ID goes without saying (no one knows how anything could actually support the hodgepodge of evidence dodges that constitute “ID theory”), so it is hardly crucial that such an egregious “theory” wasn’t actually supported by these papers. It was a mistake by the guys on our side, though an understandable one (we would not think that mere fealty to ID makes an “ID paper” worthy of the name, but the IDists think it does since it is all “faith” (in them “faith” is indistinguishable from denial)).

In fact I can’t even think of why any of these ID papers should have passed any peer reviews (we still wonder about how Sternberg directed the notorious review at the journal he headed), but it only goes to show what everyone knowledgeable about science knows—that peer-review only exists because nothing better has been devised as yet (not at the rates the journals would pay, anyhow, which so far is nothing). And no one should make too much of the fact that an idea has or hasn’t passed peer-review, since any politically-inspired concept will likely try in enough instances and a variety ways to pass the low standards of some journals out there, in order to make it to the point of being “peer-reviewed”.

Many rather better than ID, but still failed, ideas have passed peer-review, only to be debunked later. The Schoen affair alone accounts for 10s of failed claims, which more or less sailed through peer-review at highly rated journals. In the annals of fraud, the DI has little to be proud of, since their five or more ID “scientists” (hard to count up the “scientists” there) could get rather less than 10 papers into even low-rated “peer-reviewed” journals.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

his was almost detailed enough to thinkit was written by a lawyer:

“ these “proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law” briefs are not even mentioned in the national Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which governs the federal district courts, but are only mentioned in the local rules of these courts, and the local rules are of course not uniform. The local rules of some federal district courts might not mention these briefs at all. Also, I know that these briefs are not required by the court rules of the US Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit federal appeals court, and might not be required by the other federal appeals courts. Then there are also state courts and local courts, which have their own rules. So how could this procedure of cutting and pasting from such briefs be a standard practice?”

Well, fist the Porposed findigns are widespread in the U.S. distrcit court system, usually set out in the local rules, as correctly noted.

Civics lesson. The District court is a trial court. All cases begin in the District courts where they are decied. Very few of these are appealed. So, it does no good to look at the 9th circuit or U.S. Supreme Court, both appeallate courts, to determine the standard practice in trial courts.

Since the 9th Circuit and the Supreem Court do not make fact determinationson appeal (that’s not their job), there’s no reason for those courts to have Porposed Findings.

But wait. They do have something else–appellate briefs. Ive written a few of these. And you know waht? The Ninth Circuit opinion in my case sounded a lot like my winning brief. Whole sections of my brief got lifted directly into the opinion. There should be no surprise that a written opinion will look a lot like the winning side’s brief. Why re-invent a well constructed wheel?

Correction to my previous comment (assuming it ever appears):

Larry wrote his brief in third person, but not necessarily in the VotC.

(If my previous comment doesn’t appear, I’ll repost with a strikethrough)

Well, that didn’t last long — I posted Behe’s admission that there was no actual scientific work supporting ID, and Dumbski hisself banned me and deleted that post

congrats!

surely that wasn’t your first time getting banned from UD?

Glen-

by and large the only “journal” that publishes the ID tripe is Rivista Di Biologia:

http://www.tilgher.it/(x33mv5bja11d[…]p;act=fsclst

if you simply take a gander at the latest “issue”, you will see that the jounal really should be titlted:

Rivista di Apologetica

congrats!

Thanks – ’twas nothing, I assure you.

surely that wasn’t your first time getting banned from UD?

Actually, it was my first time posting there at all. Until that latest whinge, I had never seen fit to register there.

In all honesty, I’m surprised ANY of my posts got up there at all, let alone that some of them are still up. I guess even Dumbski is under pressure to try to look like he can tolerate actual debate.

Posting Behe’s own admission that there’s no science to ID was still too much for him though…

Glen-

by and large the only “journal” that publishes the ID tripe is Rivista Di Biologia:

[…]

if you simply take a gander at the latest “issue”, you will see that the jounal really should be titlted:

Rivista di Apologetica

That they published some of JAD’s post-breakdown nonsense says it all.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Posting Behe’s own admission that there’s no science to ID was still too much for him though…

Good job, Bee! I can’t believe you got banned. You’ve got more guts than Dumbski, who as far as I know, only commented a few times here and then flew away when the questions started pouring in. It helps that you’ve actually got a way to support your position, I’m sure.

That they published some of JAD’s post-breakdown nonsense says it all.

ayup. about as concise a statement on their “peer review” process as could possibly be made.

the only place the PEH belongs is on crank.net (and it IS given the highest ranking there, BTW).

What kills me is that ICR does publish research-looking papers in a scientific-looking journals. Someone let me borrow one couple of years ago, and I don’t have it anymore, damned if I remember what it was called.

But the guy who gave it to me was a grown-up, a bioengineer at a Johnson & Johnson company. The inside of the front cover, in small print, disclosed that all the “scientists” who published in that journal were required to sign a statement of belief in God.

For an example of what the “research papers” looked like, see ICR’s website.

http://www.icr.org/research/index/r[…]rchp_papers/

Comment #150091 posted by Joe McFaul –

fist the Porposed findigns are widespread in the U.S. distrcit court system, usually set out in the local rules, as correctly noted.

As Kevin Vicklund pointed out, even the district court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, where the Dover case was tried, requires filing of the proposed “findings of fact and conclusions of law“ only before the start of the trial. I have not surveyed the local rules of all the federal district courts of the USA, but it is probable that the local rules of some districts do not even mention these proposed findings and conclusions at all. There is no uniformity in local rules.

Since the 9th Circuit and the Supreem Court do not make fact determinationson appeal (that’s not their job), there’s no reason for those courts to have Porposed Findings.

Lesson in the law: They are not called just “proposed findings of facts“ – they are called “proposed findings of facts and conclusions of law.“. The federal appellate courts and the Supreme Court make conclusions of law.

The Ninth Circuit opinion in my case sounded a lot like my winning brief. Whole sections of my brief got lifted directly into the opinion.

I think that a judge should also present the losing side‘s arguments or rebuttals and explain why they were rejected. Did Jones do any of that in the section on whether ID is science? Also, Judge Jones plagiarized an important “conclusion of law“ in the conclusion section of the opinion: “we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants . … from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution . …“. He did not even bother to include that prohibition in the opinion’s final order, showing that he just mindlessly copied that prohibition from the plaintiffs’ final proposed conclusions of law. If there is anyplace where Jones should have showed some independence of thought, it is here. I have had endless arguments over the meaning and enforceability of that prohibition. Judge Jones has shown that he is just a hack, not a great mind.

One cannot help but wonder what color magic decoder ring L. Breckinridge got when he finished his Troll U. ID College of Knowledge course in law.

Yuck. What a clown.

L. Breckinridge wrote:

I think that a judge should also present the losing side’s arguments or rebuttals and explain why they were rejected. Did Jones do any of that in the section on whether ID is science?

Have you considered reading the opinion to find out? I am amazed at the number of posts filled with speculation and opinion on how the legal system should work, by people who have no clue about how the system actually does work. Witness the post by L. Breckinridge.

I think that a judge should also present the losing side’s arguments or rebuttals and explain why they were rejected.

and of course, as has been stated MANY times before, even unto your banning:

NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU THINK, Larry.

Yes, your prose makes you immediately recognizable, Larry Farfromsane.

where’s your brother at?

In his case, he really is your keeper.

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This page contains a single entry by Timothy Sandefur published on December 12, 2006 6:52 AM.

More on Evolution And Conservatism was the previous entry in this blog.

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